The Two Way

The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

'An Inland Ocean Of Flooding': Disaster In Central Europe

A cloverleaf is partially flooded by the river Danube near Deggendorf, southern Germany, on June 6, 2013.
Christof Stache AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:31 pm

At least 16 people are dead after several days of flooding in Austria, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Historic cities are underwater, and flood victims are perching on rooftops for safety. It's been a rainy spring in the region, and heavy storms last weekend forced many rivers and streams over their banks.

And more rain is forecast for this weekend in parts of central Europe.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Christie Names N.J. Attorney General To Be Interim Senator

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa is going to be New Jersey's interim senator — filling the seat vacated Monday by the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Esther Williams, Swimmer Turned Movie Star, Dies

Esther Williams in August, 1942.
AP

Esther Williams, a swimming champion who became "America's mermaid" when she starred in a series of Hollywood "aqua musicals" in the 1940s and '50s, has died.

According to The Associated Press, that word comes from her family and her publicist.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

In Letter To Senators, DoJ Explains How Secret Court Works

A man takes a photograph with his cell phone of names on the walls of "Empty Sky Memorial" at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. The concrete and steel memoria pays tribute to the 746 citizens of New Jersey who lost their lives on Sept. 11.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 2:32 pm

Back in October of 2011, then-Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote a letter to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) concerning section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now? A Lighter Look At NSA Snooping

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 11:50 am

As news broke about the NSA collecting telephone records through Verizon, people took to Twitter to voice their opinions. As an experiment, NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin asked his followers to respond to the hashtag #CallsTheNSAKnowsAbout. Their responses ranged from the hilarious to the poignant.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Microsoft, FBI Say They've Disrupted $500 Million Botnet

Buttons with the Microsoft logo are seen at a Comp USA store in 2007.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:11 pm

Working jointly with the FBI, Microsoft says it has disrupted a botnet responsible for stealing more than $500 million from bank accounts worldwide.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

VIDEO: Michelle Obama's Face-To-Face With A Heckler

The first lady was confronted by a heckler at a private event in Washington on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 11:36 am

CNN has video that lets you see and hear some of what it was like Tuesday night when first lady Michelle Obama confronted a heckler who had interrupted her during a Democratic fundraiser at a home in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Koreas Agree To First High-Level Talks In Years

Cars drive past barricades on the road linking North Korea's Kaesong Industrial Complex at a military checkpoint in Paju, near the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas, on Thursday.
Jung Yeon-je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 11:58 am

It's too early to tell whether North Korea's offer on Thursday of talks with the South — potentially the first such dialogue in years — is more than just another negotiating tactic.

But Seoul readily accepted the offer, and though Pyongyang said the agenda should be discussing the reopening of the jointly run Kaesong factory complex inside North Korea, it left the door open for the possibility of broader negotiations.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Cleanup Begins As Death Toll In Philadelphia Remains At 6

Rescue workers converged Wednesday on the site of a building collapse in Philadelphia. At least six people were reportedly killed and an additional 14 injured.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 11:41 am

Update at 10:35 a.m. ET. Still A Rescue Operation:

Although reports earlier this morning signaled that efforts at the scene of a building collapse in Philadelphia had turned from rescue to recovery and cleanup, city officials just told reporters that they're still looking for possible survivors.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Ahead Of Key Report, 2 Modestly Positive Signs On Jobs

The scene at a career fair in San Francisco on May 30.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The number of first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 11,000 last week from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports. There were 346,000 such applications.

While on the positive side, the figure is still in line with the recent trend. Since late 2011, claims have basically stayed in a range from the mid-300,000s to just under 400,000.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea Strengthens, Heads Toward Florida

National Hurricane Center

Andrea, the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season, strengthened overnight and is forecast to make landfall along Florida's Big Bend area later today.

The National Hurricane Center has issued tropical storm warnings for a wide swath of the western coast of Florida. The system is forecast to move northeast along the eastern seaboard over the next couple of days, so the center has issued storm warnings from Georgia to Virginia.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Top Stories: U.S. Collects Phone Records: Lung Transplant Case

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:00 pm

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Spy Agency's Collection Of Phone Records Reopens Controversy.

-- Judge Gives Girl Who Needs New Lungs A 'Fighting Chance.'

And here are more early headlines:

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Judge Gives Girl Who Needs New Lungs A 'Fighting Chance'

Sarah Murnaghan, center, on May 30 as she and her parents marked the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her father, Fran, is at left. Her mother, Janet, is at right.
Murnaghan family AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 9:32 am

A federal judge's ruling that moves 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan up the waiting list for a lung transplant means the little girl now has a "fighting chance at life," says Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa.

Meehan was one of several lawmakers who had been pushing to have the Health and Human Services Department relax the rules that give priority to patients age 12 and older.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Book News: A.M. Homes Takes Women's Prize For Fiction

A.M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven, poses prior to Wednesday's awards ceremony for the Women's Prize For Fiction at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Spy Agency's Collection Of Phone Records Reopens Controversy

Your call may be monitored: The NSA has been given the OK to collect data about millions of Americans' phone calls (though not about the conversations).
Glen Argov Landov

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 2:16 pm

(Most recent update: 2 p.m. ET)

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The Two-Way
7:55 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

84-Year-Old Woman Claims Powerball Jackpot

Powerball winner Gloria C. Mackenzie, 84, leaves the lottery office escorted by her son Scott (right) after claiming a single lump-sum payment of just over $370 million before taxes on Wednesday in Tallahassee, Fla. Officials say she is the largest sole lottery winner in U.S. history.
Steve Cannon AP

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:04 pm

The question of who won the record $590 million Powerball jackpot was answered Thursday when an 84-year-old woman came forward to collect the money.

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The Two-Way
7:42 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

London Islamic Center Fire Is Under Close Police Scrutiny

Fire officers walk past the fire-damaged Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill in London Wednesday. Counter-terrorism officers have been called in amid suspicions that it was a racially motivated attack.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Two weeks after the brutal murder of a British soldier that brought a rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the U.K., a fire devastated an Islamic community center in London Wednesday. Scotland Yard says the cause of the blaze is being treated as suspicious.

"Graffiti was found amid the charred ruins, including an abbreviation for a far right anti-Muslim fringe group," NPR's Philip Reeves reports for our Newscast unit. "Detectives are trying to figure out when it was written."

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The Two-Way
7:00 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

IMF Admits 'Notable Failures' In Greek Bailout

The International Monetary Fund has admitted "notable failures" in the Greek bailout, saying in a report Thursday that despite the steps Greece's recession and unemployment problem were more severe than anticipated.

The report said the program had succeeded in keeping Greece within the eurozone and mostly prevented the country's economic troubles from spilling over to the rest of the region. "However," it said:

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The Two-Way
6:26 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Andrea, First Named Storm Of 2013 Season, Forms In Gulf

The National Hurricane Center is tracking Tropical Storm Andrea, currently in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, on its website.
NWS

Tropical Storm Andrea, the first named storm of the new hurricane season, has formed in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters expect the storm to bring heavy rains to Florida before moving up the East Coast.

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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

DEA Arrests Scarsdale Mom In Massive Pot-Growing Scheme

A photograph taken on May 20, 2013, by the DEA Strike Force shows some of the marijuana plants the agency says were grown by a woman from a wealthy New York suburb, in a warehouse in the Queens borough of New York.
DEA AP

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:59 pm

Andrea Sanderlin, a mother who drives a Mercedes SUV and lives in a large Scarsdale, N.Y., home, is facing serious drug charges after federal investigators accused her of being the mastermind behind an operation growing nearly 3,000 marijuana plants in a warehouse in Queens.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

The Bradley Manning Trial: A Short(ish) Guide To Understanding The Case

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (right) is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on June 25, 2012. His lawyer announced that Manning, who is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Patrick Semansky AP

For the next 12 weeks, a military judge in Fort Meade, Md. will consider the case of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. It's bound to be a complicated, long-running and often secretive process that kicked off on Monday.

Before we get too far into the court-martial, we wanted to put together a shortish guide to bring you up to speed on the trial.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

TSA Says It Won't Relax Carry-On Ban Of Knives, Other Items

A graphic released by the TSA earlier this year announced coming changes to the agency's Prohibited Items List, which it said would allow small knives. The TSA now says those items will remain banned from carry-on bags.
TSA

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:59 pm

Small knives, golf clubs, and other items that had been poised to be allowed in air passengers' carry-on luggage will instead remain prohibited, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed Wednesday. The reversal follows a review process in which the agency heard from passenger advocates, law enforcement, and others.

"After extensive engagement with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, law enforcement officials, passenger advocates, and other important stakeholders, TSA will continue to enforce the current prohibited items list," the agency said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Obama Names Susan Rice As New National Security Adviser

President Barack Obama announces a staff shakeup Wednesday, naming U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice (right) to replace the retiring Tom Donilon. He also nominated former White House aide Samantha Power (left) to succeed Rice at the U.N.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:55 pm

President Obama has announced his choice of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as the next national security adviser, an appointment that does not require Senate confirmation. Congressional Republicans have sharply criticized Rice for erroneous statements she made after the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Do You Care If Ball Players Use Steroids? Polls Say Fans Do

A fan raises his objections at the 2002 Major League Baseball All Star Game.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:58 pm

ESPN's big scoop of the day — that Major League Baseball "will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal" — raises a logical question:

Do fans care?

PollingReport.com has collected the results of some surveys, including:

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

U.S. Soldier Pleads Guilty In 2012 Afghan Shooting Rampage

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (left), the U.S. soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., on Aug. 23.
Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 2:34 pm

The United States soldier charged with the murder of 16 Afghan villagers entered a guilty plea on Wednesday during a court hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to 16 counts of premeditated murder, The Seattle Times reports, but he pleaded not guilty to "attempting to impede an investigation into the case by damaging a laptop computer."

The Times adds:

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